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Writing Has Taught Me to Relax

Anyone who has done multiple edits on their manuscript knows how stressful writing can get. There's nothing more blissful than the creative bubble you enter when writing the rough draft of your book, but after the third or fourth pass, it can be quite annoying to read the same thing over and over. So many times, I've wanted to work like a dog and rush through the editing, just so I could get the work done and move on to the next project. But that is one of the worst mistakes to make, as that's when you start doing sloppy work. Thankfully, over the years of writing, I've learned the importance of relaxing and NOT working! When I was editing The Last Bucelarii (Book 1): Blade of the Destroyer, I forced myself to do one chapter per day. I did that chapter every day, but no more. It meant that I only needed about an hour to sit at my desk and work, and the rest of the time I could relax, spend time with my kids, hit the beach, and so on. Looking back, I realize that was the smart way to go about it. On the days when I tried to cram two or three chapters' worth of editing in, the editing came out a bit shoddy or slipshod. It wasn't the tight, concise writing I managed to achieve on the days when I did just ONE chapter. That was when I realized that I wasn't going to get through the book in one day, not even in one week. There was no point in stressing out about it, because it wasn't going to happen. Time and effort, not just effort! What's more, I learned that my work isn't going to be perfect on the first pass. I stopped trying to force the work to be top-shelf, and just focused on putting the words down on paper. I had a second and final draft to make sure that everything was just right, and I didn't need to get so caught up on perfection that I lost the enjoyment of writing/telling the story. This isn't just directed at writers, but it's aimed at ANYONE and EVERYONE who works hard: take time off! Learn to relax. Your work will never be done all in one day, so stop trying to force it. You'll find that giving yourself a break will help you to have renewed energy when you finally sit down to work again, and you'll get a lot more done! Relax--it's so worth it.